Pros of Sports on Youth Violence
The term "Youth Violence" is defined as "the intentional use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others by young people ages 10-24". There are many forms of Youth Violence, a few forms are bullying, fighting, gang violence, as well as threats with a weapon. "During a single year, an estimated 2.1 million youth under the age of 18 are arrested in the United States".  Youth Violence has grown to become a social issue. "Homicide rates in 2014 among non-Hispanic, African American males 10-24 years of age (48.2 per 100,000) exceeded those of Hispanic males (9.6 per 100,000) and non-Hispanic, White males in the same age group (2.6 per 100,000)."
Benefits of participating in sports
Sports is known for it's adrenaline rushing, competitive atmosphere, and health benefits but it also known to help children improve on their social skills. "It teaches them to cooperate, to be less selfish, and to listen to other children".
Some social skills sports teach kids are:
- Good sportsmanship
- Improve self-confidence
- Communication skills
- Sense of Community
- Leadership skills
Many of these learned skills can be used outside of the sports world.
Sports used as prevention method against Youth Violence
Sports can be used as a prevention method against Youth Violence. Young adolescents who participate in sports are less likely to commit a crime. Sports can be very time consuming and can lower the chances of crime and or violent act to occur. Researchers at the University of Michigan conducted a study regarding the participation of sports and that it lowers the levels of committing a crime. "The athletic participation rate was 39.8 percent in 2003-2004 school year, and 42.4 percent during 2005-2006 school year. The results found that schools with higher sport participations rates had lower serious crime rates and suspensions".
Furthermore, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted a study on the benefits of using recreation, intervention, and rehabilitation program. In their study, they connected ex- gang members with at risk youth and had hopes of the youth develop trust. "In this sense, recreation and sport activities can be used as a "hook" to attract vulnerable youth and young offenders to participate in the program and to gradually introduce them to other developmental activities and pro social opportunities such as anger management, conflict resolutions...educational counseling and job training".
Example of programs who use sports as prevention strategy
Lists of Programs who use Sports as an prevention strategy:
The Line Up, Live Up initiative
- The Line Up, Live Up initiative was created by the Youth Crime Prevention through Sports of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. "Through meaningful engagement with youth in marginalized areas from disadvantaged backgrounds, Line Up, Live Up packs life skills training and physical activities during ten sessions with especially trained coaches".
National Youth Sports (NYS)
- The National Youth Sports is a non profit youth sports program, that aims to help kids of San Antonio Texas stay off the street through organized sport programs. "NYS will be partnering with the Judson Independent School District and the San Antonio Police Department create a variety of free sports programs for the subdivision. Their goal is to help lessen the Sunrise Division’s crime problem, and to provide youth with proper guidance so that they do not get into trouble with the law".
Dorchester Youth Collaborative (DYC)
- The Dorchester Youth Collaborative was founded in 1981 and works with at risk youth within the Boston area. Many of the youth that they target are exposed to a high level of violence and are likely to become involved in the criminal justice and social service systems. " DYC introduces teens to education, enrichment, health, sports... Through their participation DYC teens achieve socially valued roles at home, with their friends, and in the community".
Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc.
- The Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc. was founded in 2002 with the goal of supporting at risk youth. Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc. offers a variety of sports that allows young people to interact in. "Our mission is to fuse sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at-risk youth. Overtime, as individuals and in teams, they learn to heal together, grow together, and win together".
Fit2Lead Youth Enrichment and Sports Program
- The Fit2Lead Youth Enrichment and Sports Program aims to serve at risk youth. "The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for at-risk youth to gain life skill that promote mental, social and physical health that encourages positive behaviors".
The listed programs above are just a few of many organizations that aim to serve at risk youth using sports around the world. Many of these programs have been very positive in a young person's life. They all provide young people the ability to learn social skills through sports, these skills can also be used in the real world.
- "Preventing Youth Violence |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC". www.cdc.gov. 8 April 2020.
- "Youth Involved with the Juvenile Justice System | Youth.gov". youth.gov.
- "Youth Violence" (PDF).
- Australia, Healthdirect (6 April 2020). "Developing life skills through sports". www.healthdirect.gov.au.
- "High school sports participation lowers major crime and suspensions". University of Michigan News. 10 September 2012.
- Berdychevsky, Liza; Stodolska, Monika; Shinew, Kimberly J. (April 2019). "The Roles of Recreation in the Prevention, Intervention, and Rehabilitation Programs Addressing Youth Gang Involvement and Violence". Leisure Sciences: 1–23. doi:10.1080/01490400.2019.1571966.
- "Engaging young people in sports programmes can help reduce violent extremism". www.unodc.org.
- "National Youth Sports to offer free summer program to at-risk children in San Antonio". youth1.com. 23 April 2017.
- "who we serve – Dorchester Youth Collaborative".
- "Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc". Providers' Council.
- "Miami-Dade County Service". www.miamidade.gov.
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